Pigs which are bred commercially in Europe are found to have a highly varied mosaic of different European and Asian gene variants. The Asian genes in particular result in a large number of piglets in European pig breeds. In the latest issue of the science journal Nature Communications, researchers from Wageningen University explain that a number of important characteristics of European pigs have Asian origins. They previously demonstrated that the genetic diversity among commercial pigs is greater than within the existing populations of wild boar.
Friday 4 April saw the introduction of a supercomputer (HPC; High Performance Computer) to be used by the Wageningen University & Research animal researchers and animal breeding companies united in the Breed4Food consortium. This computer will enable them to process huge volumes of data using large computing power. It required an initial investment of more than 700,000 euros and will be made available to researchers and companies based on a joint investment by the Breed4Food partners, the Centre for Advanced Technology in the Agro and Food sector (CAT-AgroFood) and Wageningen UR. The computer was officially taken into use by Annemieke Traag, member of the Executive Council of the Province of Gelderland.
During the 66th annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP) two PhD candidates of the Department of Animal Science won an award. Sabine van Engelen, PhD candidate at Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre, has won the Rommert Politiek award for best poster presentation. Akke Kok PhD candidate at Animal Production Systems and Adaptation Physiology, went home with the Novus Travel Grant.
With her poster Sabine gave a short but clear view of her research on the repeatability’s of methane production by dairy cows measured in automatic milking systems. Akke presented within the 'Young Train' session a new method to compare milk production in cows with a difference in dry period length and calving interval, in a fair manner. This award gives Akke the opportunity to present her work next year at the annual congress of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) in Salt Lake City (Utah, USA).